Gov. Walz signs $2.6 billion infrastructure bill
Governor Tim Walz signed what is being touted as Minnesota’s largest-ever infrastructure bill on Thursday afternoon.
Walz was joined in Minneapolis by Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Sen. Sandra Pappas, Rep. Fue Lee, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council President Dan McConnell and advocates of the bill.
The infrastructure bill will provide $2.6 billion in investments across the state, $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds, and a billion in cash projects, according to DFL Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic.
“Let’s start building,” the governor said to cheers as he signed the bill into law near the Hennepin Avenue Bridge that will get $3 million in funding.
“Doing the work that’s necessary on infrastructure is not only the right thing to do to make sure people stay safe, we’re able to move people and goods, it’s our commitment to the next generation,” the governor said.
The legislation includes $501 million for water infrastructure and $403 million for transportation — mostly roads and bridges, but also $72 million for bus rapid transit.
“A bonding bill has always been heavily for rural Minnesota,” said Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, the bill’s Senate author. “When you look at wastewater treatment, when you look at DNR, when you look at local roads and bridges, those are all very important for us to fund, and we did it.”
Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, says it was one of the few bipartisan efforts at the Capitol in 2023.
“This is a perfect example of what can happen in state government when people decide that regardless of party or where you live in the state that you should get together and do what’s right for the state of Minnesota,” he said at the mostly DFL news conference.
These hundreds of projects will require thousands of construction workers over the next several years.
“If you’ve ever considered a career in construction, now is the time to check with your local union hall,” McConnell said.
He says one of the first projects, the expansion of Fraser Hall for new chemistry lab space at the University of Minnesota, will begin Monday and require 175 construction workers.
This is the first infrastructure bill passed by the legislature in three years, so there’s a lot of pent-up demand.
A list of the projects and funding amounts can be found in the online bill text.
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